Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NIT ROUNDUP; George Mason Ends 18-Year Drought

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NIT ROUNDUP; George Mason Ends 18-Year Drought

Article excerpt

Host George Mason won its first postseason game in 18 years, beating Tennessee 58-55 in the opening round of the NIT on Wednesday night.

The victory gave George Mason (22-9) a school record for wins in a season, and the school won its first tournament game since a 65-63 victory over Lamar in the 1986 NIT. George Mason had since gone 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament and 0-2 in the NIT.

Tony Skinn scored 16 points, and Terry Reynolds got George Mason's last eight points to finish with 15. Jai Lewis added 13 for the Patriots.

Brandon Crump scored 16 points to lead Tennessee (15-14). The Volunteers were hurt by 18 turnovers, but they had a chance to tie at the buzzer when Scooter McFadgon hit the rim with a 3-pointer from the left baseline.

Iowa State 82, Georgia 74: Jackson Vroman scored 23 points, Curtis Stinson had 21 and host Iowa State shot a school-record 74.4 percent.

The Cyclones (18-12) were 17 for 21 from the field in the second half, but they could not pull away until scoring 11 consecutive points for a 68-56 lead with 3:37 left.

Damien Wilkins went 5 for 6 from 3-point range and led Georgia (16-14) with 20 points. Jonas Hayes added 12, while Rashad Wright and Levi Stukes each scored 11.

Virginia 79, George Washington 66: Todd Billet made five of host Virginia's 13 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers (18-12) are playing in the NIT for the third consecutive year and fourth time in six seasons under coach Pete Gillen.

Billet, Virginia's lone senior, led the Cavaliers with 19 points. J.R Reynolds added 17, and former Arlington Country Day standout T.J. Bannister contributed 11 points and five assists.

Notre Dame 71, Purdue 59: Chris Quinn scored 21 points, and Rick Cornett added a career-high 16 for host Notre Dame.

The Irish (18-12), winners of eight of their last 11, will play at Saint Louis in the second round next week. Purdue (17-14) finished the season with five consecutive losses.

Villanova 85, Drexel 70: Randy Foye and Allan Ray each scored 20 points, and Curtis Sumpter had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead host Villanova (17-16).

Sean Brooks scored a career-high 24 points for Drexel (18-11). …

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